After a renowned acting career in television, movies, and on Broadway, Sarah Jessica Parker couldn’t help but wonder: How did she wind up on a Zoom call doing chemistry with winemakers from New Zealand?
In a partnership with Auckland-based Invivo & Co., the Sex and the City actress just released the third round of vintages of their award-winning sauvignon blanc and rosé. The latest news of the collaboration, dubbed Invivo X, SJP, coincides with the release of And Just Like That on HBO Max. Though the winery has been working with Parker for years, Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne said the wine being at Wednesday night’s red carpet premiere of the revival caused a flurry of excitement.”We wanted to take this unique model of working with talent during the whole blending process,” says Lightbourne, who founded the company with his high school friend Rob Cameron. Previously, Invivo has collaborated with graffiti artists and talk show host Graham Norton. “Sarah Jessica was at the top of our list for her business savvy and longevity in the industry. Because Rob and I are just two school friends starting out and there weren’t generations of family wine-making history, we knew we could have a bit more fun.”
That’s not to say the products aren’t impressive. The Invivo X, SJP sauvignon blanc and rosé wines have been awarded 13 gold medals and numerous 90-point ratings since the first vintage was released in September 2019. Lightbourne attributes that to the fruitful Marlborough region, which accounts for 62% of all the wine produced in New Zealand.”We’ve only been doing this as a country, on the world’s stage, really since the 1980s,” he says. “But sauvignon blanc from Marlborough is just so unique, so tropical, and so aromatic as well. It’s thanks to the region, the type of weather patterns that we get in New Zealand, and some of the skills the new guard brings to wine making.”
While the celebrity-alcohol category is more prevalent than ever, Lightbourne is quick to point out just how involved Parker is in the process. She even hand-painted the “X” and sent the print to New Zealand to be recreated on the wine label.
Typically, she has been able to blend new vintages with the winemakers in person. But, more recently, the blending has happened virtually. After the sauvignon blanc harvest in March, six wines and wine-blending equipment were sent over to Parker in New York City, and the three of them spent hours blending and tasting over Zoom.
“This is our third vintage so the challenge each year is to make sure our new vintage is as good as previous years, given the love and respect for it from our customers but keeping true to this year’s grapes,” Parker said in a statement. “It’s always a pleasure spending the afternoons tasting with Tim and Rob. We are so proud of this vintage, it has an incredible fragrance along with a unique taste and mouthfeel but is still in-keeping with the style of sauvignon blanc, which I’ve found can be more flexible than I had originally thought.”The sauvignon blanc boasts ripe citrus, tropical fruit, a bit of oak due to Parker’s love of chardonnay, and a crisp finish. The rosé is a bit more perfumed with aromas of red berries and stone fruit with a fresh and full finish. Lightbourne says the white would pair nicely with smoked salmon, oysters, and even won a blind competition for a fish and chips pairing. The rosé would be well-suited for dessert. (He also admitted both wines, slightly chilled, would be perfect for a night in watching And Just Like That.)
Overall, Lightbourne describes Invivo X, SJP as a true partnership with Parker, and the group even has a future blend in a new category already in the works.
“At her first tasting session, I think she was probably a bit nervous, but within minutes she was diving into acidity and having robust discussions about what she was after,” he explains. “This is a long term partnership. Sarah Jessica is a shareholder of our company and she is a director, as well. This is something that we’ll build up for many years to come.”Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Jess Mayhugh is the editorial director of food & drink for Thrillist, who will drink just enough wine to stay impossibly fresh-looking. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.